Friday, March 02, 2007


The rains came as predicted and instead of riding I'm sitting at the kitchen table listening to an old episode of the Crooked Cog Network Podcast.

So now to a quick book review. "The Six-Day Bicycle Races: America's Jazz-Age Sport" by Peter Joffre Nye, Jeff Groman, and Mark Tyson (39.95 Van Der Plas Publications/Cycle Publishing, San Francisco)is terrific. It is a large format book, looks like a coffee table book and has more than enough wonderful photos to qualify, but that is deceiving. The pictures are accompanied by an informative and substantial text that traces the development of the sport, the riders, mechanics, promoters, fans and the surrounding American social history from the earliest Ordinary (High Wheel) races past the rise and fall of the sport in America and its continuance in Europe to almost contemporary times. The history was both fascinating and intriguing. I would love to see such a race! The characters were real characters!The popularity of the sport, in light of the contemporary contempt for cycling (I can't get my local Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Editor to carry news of the Tour of California, despite the fact that the NY Times covered it)is heartening.Under the right circumstances we may be able to re-kindle America's love affair with bikes. But most of all it is a plain old good read.If you love cycling read this book.

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